February, 2000


Before Senator John McCain trounced Texas Governor George W. Bush in the New Hampshire primary by a margin of 19%, the Republican balloting in Virginia on February 29th looked to be a snoozer. With every Republican officeholder in Virginia and just about everywhere else actively supporting George W. Bush, the voters in the Old Dominion were thought certain to endorse the establishment candidate. Even though Virginia is just about the opposite of New Hampshire in its love for rebel politicians, there may this year be a rebel in the field that has great appeal to voters even in establishment bound Virginia. Mr. McCain now says he is leading a crusade rather than just a campaign. Could he be right?

The voters of Virginia will be having a large say in the matter. Everyone but Democratic Party organizers are free to vote in the primary.

In the phraseology of Norfolk Mayor Fraim recently, there could be a worse President to have than John McCain. McCain insists he will run the special interests and their lobbyists out of Washington. Can "banning" "soft money" perform such wonders? Mr. McCain tends to be libertarian in many of his views, but remains an enabler for a multi-trillion federal budget in his bottom-line. All he ultimately offers the public is a feeling of thorough moral cleansing after the lies and low escapades of Bill Clinton.

But Mr. McCain has something that all freedom lovers can take heart from. It is, of course, his rebel streak. (Such qualities used to be called the strength of one's convictions.) When Mr. McCain realizes that campaign finance legislation can never break the "iron triangle" that runs Washington, maybe then America will have a true reformer as well as well as a crusader. We libertarians need to educate Mr. McCain that the ends of his crusade can be achieved only through the return of federal power to its historical constitutional limits. The "iron triangle" in Washington will only be broken by killing the beast outright.


Due to the tremendous efforts of the Peninsula Libertarian Club, the local party enjoyed a successful day at the annual TALKFEST sponsored by Radio 790AM and 850AM.

Club organizer Sharon Wood managed to arrange a waiver of the $1,500 charge for a booth at the event. A mass of LP literature was quickly assembled. Scores of people learned of the LP. Thanks to the efforts of Richard Braun from South Hampton Roads, Greg Goy, Jim Hicks, Steve Stahl and Joe Cadrin from the Peninsula and Greg Lloyd from Richmond about eighty registered voters signed ballot access petitions for the 2000 elections at the event.

The Dems never applied for a booth. The Reps said they did not have enough people to cover a booth, so they also did not show up.

The high point of the show also belonged to the LP. During a question and answer period, Joe Cadrin asked former Governor George Allen, on the air, to identify any area of federal spending he would eliminate or reduce: asking that he be specific. After a couple moments of silence, the Senate hopeful said that he would look into buying new computers for the feds that might improve workplace efficiency. The leading member of the Virginia Republicans, the self-anointed party of small government, could not think of one dollar of reduced spending he recommends anywhere in the $3.2 trillion dollar federal budget. He had no problem, though, proposing increased spending on the military and elsewhere.

Virginia's conservative emperors have no clothes even when it comes to spending the citizens' money as freely as any Congress in U.S. history has.

Good job, Peninsula Club. Keep everyone fighting for truth and freedom.


For the first time since 1986 there will be no incumbent congressman seeking reelection in the Second District of Virginia. Voters in Virginia Beach and most of Norfolk will be choosing a new representative in November now that Democrat Owen Pickett has decided to retire from his seat.

Instead of creating an interesting contest for 2000, though, Mr. Pickett's retirement has had the opposite effect. Virginia Beach State Senator Edward Schrock had already decided to run for the seat before Pickett bowed out. The Republican nomination for 2000 was (and is) his for the asking. The race had looked to be the Democratic Party's last stand in Virginia Beach. Even with the incumbent running, it was very dicey whether or not Republicans would seize the sole remaining elective office in the city held by the Democrats. In the wake of Pickett's announcement, it became clear that even the leading Democrats do not believe they have a chance of winning the election now. Mayor Fraim and Mayor Oberndorff immediately ruled out accepting the Democratic nomination. Glenn Croshaw and Sonny Stallings dropped out soon after. Both of those men had already lost General Assembly seat to the Republican tide. Only one person, little known lawyer Jody Wagner, has decided to seek the nomination. Local party leader Bill Bischoff says, at this point, the nomination is all but hers by default. It appears a Republican landslide is in the making.

Maybe this would be an opportunity for a third party candidate to attract some interest here locally. We know that Mr. Schrock will be advancing the Republican agenda of lower taxes for the moneyed constituency, but higher spending for the rest of us to pay for. Ms. Wagner presumably will promote traditional Democrat policies of of showering ever more tax money on government schools and bureaucratic regulation of everything in sight. A breath of free air is certainly needed, if for no other reason than to give the reporters something to write about. Contact this newspaper if you know someone able and possibly willing to bring personal and economic freedom to the 2000 debate in South Hampton Roads.


The State LP with a lot of help from local organizers canvassed the General Assembly elections committees in an effort to get enacted this year a bill that was passed by a House of Delegates committee last year. The bill provides that Virginia political parties that do not meet the “10% of the vote” requirement for automatic ballot access may gain ballot access across the state for all elective offices upon the filing of a single petition with the State Board of Elections for each election cycle. Though still burdensome compared to other states, this would be a big improvement for electoral choice and especially for well-organized groups like the Virginia LP.

The bill's patron in the House last year, Delegate Vince Callahan, said he would be willing to resubmit and press the bill this year, but only if a similar kind of bill were also introduced in the Senate. Phone calls to members of the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee went unanswered for the most part. The bottom-line is that no legislative bill has been introduced this year to ease the ballot access petitioning requirements.

The LP plans to obtain ballot positions for candidates in the 2000 Presidential and U.S. Senate elections. This will require the signatures of 10,000 registered voters statewide. We are more organized and prepared than ever, but we need the help of every freedom fighter to get past this hurdle quickly so we can concentrate on the elections themselves. This coming Republican primary on February 29th presents an excellent opportunity to find registered voters all going to one location. Let's get the people of Virginia to allow LP candidates to be on the ballot in November, 2000.